City Guide to Adelaide, Australia
Author: Julie Thompson | Last Updated: 30 Jun 2019
Australia’s fifth biggest city, Adelaide is home to 1.3 million people. Disregarded by some as a small quiet city, this is in fact a gem just waiting to be explored. With a cool art scene, a plethora of world class wineries and pristine beaches and mountains to explore, Adelaide offers more than meets the eye.
Best time to visit Adelaide
Summer in Adelaide is hot and dry, making it a popular time to visit. Temperatures average 29 degrees in December and January, but can get much hotter. Winter is much cooler with tops of just 16 degrees but is also much wetter. The Fringe festival brings the city alive in February and March, but if you prefer a milder climate and a quieter time, then April/May or September/October are great months to enjoy this city.
Walk the city streets
What better way to explore a new city than by just walking the streets as the locals do. Discover the art gallery, street art, designer boutiques and hidden bars. There are a number of walking tours to choose from so you can be sure to find the one that most matches your interests and discover some of Adelaide’s hidden gems.
Adelaide Central Market
One of Australia’s fresh produce markets, this is a brilliant result of a little rebellion back in 1869 when a handful of grocers left the popular market of that time and set up shop in the city. Home now to vendors selling fruit and vegetables, meat and smallgoods, dairy and other local delights this is a vibrant place full of people who are truly passionate about the food they produce.
With over 2500 animals and 250 species of exotic mammals, reptiles and fish, Adelaide zoo is a popular tourist attraction. Australia’s second oldest zoo, and run on a not-for-profit basis, this zoo is of course home to many curious native Australian animals, as well as many other endangered species from all over the world. A worthwhile visit for any nature enthusiast.
Just 15 kilometers east of the city centre, Mount Lofty is the highest point in the Adelaide Hills. Offering panoramic views of the city skyline and out across Kangaroo Island and the ocean. You can choose to hike to the summit or simply drive all the way to the top and enjoy the view.
Adelaide Fringe Festival
The world’s second largest annual arts festival, the Adelaide Fringe is an experience all of it’s own. Running from mid-Feb to mid-March every year since 1960, this festival showcases over 5000 Australian artists from Australia and around the world. With music, circus, dance, film, theatre and art popping up in venues and public spaces all over the city, this festival has something for everyone and brings the city alive like nothing else.
Enjoy food and wine like never before
Adelaide has long been home to incredible wineries, but in recent years it has also built a fantastic restaurant scene making it heaven for foodies. With a population of migrants, this is a melting pot of flavours and also a place where you can enjoy some unique Australian flavours prepared in truly special ways. Saltbush crisps at Blackwood; kangaroo pho at Warndu or tempura crocodile at Red Ochre, your tastebuds will not believe what has hit them. Or if that feels a little too bold, never fear. With a huge number of well regarded restaurants, cafes and bars featuring every cuisine you can imagine, you will be sure find at least a handful of places you love and wish you could take back home with you.
After a morning exploring the city, what better way to cool down than at the beach. With clean white sand and clear refreshing water, the beaches here rival the best in the world.
There are many to choose from, but Glenelg beach is the closest to the city and accessible with a short tram ride, and with restaurants an boutiques just moments away on Jetty Road this is brilliant spot to finish the day and watch the sunset.
Just 1 hour north of Adelaide is the Barossa Valley. One of the best wine regions in the country, this is a must see for anyone who loves wine. Home to over 50 wineries, including the famous Penfolds – creating brilliant wine since 1844. There are tons of tours to choose from, and this is a great way to enjoy a handful of the best wineries drinking as much as you’d like along the way.
Clare Valley and McLaren Vale
As if the Barossa wasn’t enough, these two brilliant regions are home to a multitude more wineries and are definitely worth exploring if you have the time. Bike, hike or even by horse and carriage, it doesn’t matter how you explore these wine regions you are bound to enjoy them and quickly expand your list of favourite wines. McLaren Vale about 1 hour south of Adelaide is most famous for it’s big, bold Shiraz. Clare Valley is a little further, jut under 2 hours north of the city and renowned for it’s Riesling and dry red wines including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.
Just off the coast of Adelaide, one third of Kangaroo Island is protected as nature reserves and is home to a diverse array of wildlife. Home to koalas, sealions, even some penguin colonies and of course kangaroos, this is a brilliant place to see some of Australia’s unique flora and fauna. Just 45 minutes on the ferry, you can come for the day or stay a little longer and explore what this island has to offer.
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